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Enough is Enough: Headed to Court to Stop the Arkansas War on Women

Hayley Smith,
Advocacy and Policy Associate,
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April 16, 2013

Today we filed litigation challenging a new law in Arkansas that bans abortion starting at 12 weeks – a law that is a clear violation of state legislators’ duties to preserve, protect and defend the state and federal constitutions. Our lawsuit asks the court to block this blatantly unconstitutional ban, which violates numerous Supreme Court decisions dating back 40 years. A stubborn group of legislators insisted on rushing the bill through the legislature, refusing to listen to admonitions by doctors and even the Governor himself.

Less than one month ago, hundreds of Arkansan women and families rallied at the Capitol to remind legislators who they work for. The ACLU promised to continue to stand up for Arkansas, because politics has no place in a woman’s personal medical decisions. Today, we once again stood on the steps of the Capitol to tell the politicians inside: Enough is Enough. We have faith that the courts take their duty to uphold the state and federal constitutions more seriously than does the Arkansas Legislature. Just yesterday, a court prevented the almost certain closure of Mississippi’s only remaining abortion clinic. But we cannot always rely on the courts as a backstop.

In Arkansas and states nationwide, the ACLU will continue to stand up for a woman’s right to make the best decision for her family. Unfortunately, some legislators just won’t give up on their War on Women. This year we have fought extreme bills that would ban abortion or threaten to prevent a woman from accessing abortion care in states across the country, from Arkansas, to North Dakota, Alabama, and Texas.

When legislators refuse to listen to the voices of the women and families who elected them, we will continue stand up for those voices in the courts. Do your part by telling your legislators to stop the attacks on women’s health.

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